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Historical Fiction January 2014
"All strange and terrible events are welcome,
But comforts we despise; our size of sorrow,
Proportion'd to our cause, must be as great."
~ William Shakespeare (1564-1616), English playwright and poet, Antony and Cleopatra
New and Recently Released!
The Housemaid's Daughter - by Barbara Mutch
Publisher: St Martin's Press
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 12/10/2013
Share The Housemaid ISBN-13: 9781250016300
ISBN-10: 1250016304
Since her birth in 1930, 17-year-old housemaid Ada Mabuse has never once left Cradock House, the Harrington family's estate in the arid Karoo region of South Africa. Although her race prevents her from pursuing most opportunities, her mistress, Irish immigrant Cathleen Harrington -- a.k.a. Madam -- takes the girl under her wing, teaching her to read, write, and play the piano. However, when Ada attracts the unwanted attention of Madam's husband, Edward, she flees her familiar surroundings and attempts to survive in a racially segregated society made more brutally unjust by Apartheid (which becomes official policy in 1948). With its vividly described setting and sympathetic characters, this lyrical, thought-provoking debut skillfully depicts a turbulent era in South African history.
Focus on: The Ancient World
Spartacus: The Gladiator - by Ben Kane
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 06/05/2012
Share Spartacus%3a The Gladiator ISBN-13: 9781250001160
ISBN-10: 1250001161
After a decade of service in the Roman army, Spartacus returns to his home in Thrace, ready to hang up his sword and shield, marry, and start a family. Upon arrival, however, the weary warrior discovers that his parents have been murdered and the former king deposed. Jealous of Spartacus' relationship with Ariadne, a priestess of Dionysus, the usurper King Kotys sells his romantic rival into slavery, which leads to Spartacus' career as a gladiator. More violent and visceral than Howard Fast's 1950 novel of the same name (which inspired the 1960 film), this book by the author of the Forgotten Legion trilogy relies on historical accounts to reimagine the life of a legendary leader.
Cleopatra's Daughter: A Novel - by Michelle Moran
Publisher: Three Rivers Press
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 07/13/2010
Share Cleopatra ISBN-13: 9780307409133
ISBN-10: 0307409139
We know what happened to Cleopatra and Marc Antony, but what about their children? In this novel by the author of Nefertiti and The Heretic Queen, Cleopatra's daughter, Selene, takes center stage. After her parents' deaths, she and her twin brother, Alexander, are sent to Rome, where they're taken in by Octavia, sister of the future Emperor Augustus. As a foreigner and the child of Rome's enemies, Selene must tread carefully if she wants to survive. If you like your historical novels full of danger and intrigue, check out this book, in which ancient Rome is "authentically and vividly brought to life" (Booklist).
Men of Bronze - by Scott Oden
Publisher: Medallion Press
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 06/01/2005
Share Men of Bronze ISBN-13: 9781932815184
ISBN-10: 193281518X
Charged with defending Egypt's borders from the Persians, Phoenician mercenary Hasdrubal Barca -- as ruthless in battle as he is cunning -- strikes fear into the hearts of both his enemies and his own men. However, after a rival mercenary betrays him to the Persian army, Hasdrubal may not be able to protect the pharaoh from his enemies. At least, not without the help of educated and resourceful slave girl Jauharah. Although this gripping novel plays fast and loose with historical chronology, its emphasis on bloody battles and political maneuvering will please fans of sword and sandal epics.
The Caspian Gates - by Harry Sidebottom
Publisher: Overlook Press
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 04/26/2012
Share The Caspian Gates ISBN-13: 9781590207826
ISBN-10: 1590207823
It's 62 CE. Rome teeters on the brink of collapse as political power struggles destabilize society, while Ephesus, the once-thriving center of the Eastern Empire, lies in ruins after a devastating earthquake. In the midst of this chaos, warrior Marcus Clodius Ballista is dispatched to the Caspian Gates to confront a new threat: the invading Goths. But Ballista, born in Germania and trained to serve in the Roman army, straddles two worlds -- which may give him an advantage when it comes to defeating the enemy. If you enjoy meticulously researched yet action-packed historical fiction set in the ancient world, don't miss this 4th book in the Warrior of Rome series, which begins with Fire in the East.
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